Cape Town – When Chris the dog was found with his intestines dangling from his body, a Good Samaritan took him off the streets of Mitchells Plain to Mdzananda Animal Clinic in the neighbouring Khayelitsha, where she was rushed to the theatre for surgery.
With tears welling up in her eyes, the Samaritan told staffers she found Chris, a small dog, with his stomach ripped open.
Chris was given a 50% chance to live, but the clinic staff cleaned his intestines, which were covered in grass and sand. They then placed everything back into his abdomen and flushed it.
“Chris was treated for shock and pain and covered with a comforting blanket to recover.
“We weren’t sure if he’d make it. No one knows what caused the injury but it looked like he had either been stabbed or impaled by a sharp object.
"This morning Chris is sitting up. He’s looking good and even though we don’t want to be too hopeful, it looks like he will survive,” the clinic said yesterday.
On World Animal Day on Friday, the clinic thanked the woman who stopped to pick up Chris, ultimately saving his life.
“We hope Chris will be with us for quite some time and, once he’s ready, he’ll need a new home. If you could make a donation towards his care we’d be so grateful,” the clinic said.
To make a payment to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic, donate to Standard Bank, Account no: 075595710, Branch code: 025009, Savings Account, Reference Chris + your name.
For World Animal Day, animal protection organisations Humane Society International/Africa and FOUR PAWS South Africa joined forces to help protect lions in South Africa from tourist exploitation.
They used World Animal Day to urge travellers, travel guides and tour operators to fight lion exploitation by refusing to participate in or promote human-lion interactions, such as cub bottle-feeding or petting, walking with lions or canned trophy hunting.
“South Africa has an estimated 8 000 to 11 000 captive-bred lions being held at nearly 300 lion farms across the country.
‘‘These lions suffer from a vicious cycle of exploitation, from cradle to grave. Unsuspecting visitors are often fooled into supporting and funding what HSI/Africa and FOUR PAWS call the ‘Cuddle Scam’ by paying for selfie photo opportunities, including petting and bottle-feeding very young lion cubs, or walking experiences with captive older lions.
‘‘These lions are eventually offered to be shot as trophies or slaughtered to meet the demand of the international lion-bone trade,” the organisations said.
Audrey Delsink, wildlife director of HSI/Africa, said: “Lack of awareness of the suffering behind every cub photo or pay-to-pet experience is one of the biggest drivers of this industry that ultimately ends with lions being sold to canned hunts to be shot by trophy hunters.
‘‘We urge people to stay away from these facilities, and instead see these magnificent animals in the wild.”